Today campus was full of policemen, and every third car that swished past was white with Battenberg markings. The area around the library was crammed with TV vans, press crews, university security, real cops, suited official-looking blokes and huge hard-looking men with earpieces I took to be MI goons. They were trying to dress more classily than your average goon, and succeeded in looking just like Vinnie Jones did in Snatch. For every one of these non-students, there were at least three students, variously rubbernecking, loitering, hanging about and bobbing around trying to get into a peripheral shot.
Ah, yes. They’re holding the last of the PM-hopeful debates at my university tonight.
I’m truly, madly, deeply apathetic about politics in this country. I’ve not seen government-aided positive change in my lifetime (not that I’ve been looking hard), just increases in fees and a couple of truly stupid wars that have been going on half my lifetime now. I’ve never had any sort of pride in my country, except by fleeting, guilty comparison to much more fucked up parts of the world. The main parties seem to be a bunch of self-serving lying arseholes whose policies are basically shit, another bunch of toffish self-serving lying arseholes who don’t have any policies because the first bunch stole them all, and a bunch of impotent gleamy-eyed idealists who can promise the moon secure in the knowledge that they will not be required to deliver on it. But that’s just the default cynicism kicking in.
On most of the real issues I don’t know enough to believe hard, and I haven’t been swayed either way by the various zealots who think they do. (Our first-past-the-post representative democracy is unfair, obviously. Is it a necessary evil? Would constant hung parliaments be worse? Hell if I know. Look, I study war because politics is too damn depressing.) I just don’t really have strong opinions on anything except a fairly helpless, limp secular humanist upbringing. The things that men fight over are women and politics, and I’m sure I’m the least bellicose chap you’ll ever meet at the moment, not having either. It’s nice to be a well-off mollycoddled middle class cracker who doesn’t have to care about anything.
Still, I voted (by post, in my own constituency of Bristol, rendering all the Birmingham-based UKIP spam I’m getting worthl- uh, even more worthless.) Because if I don’t vote, I forfeit even my right to complain. And that’s the only one I’m likely to exercise.
At least it’ll warrant another series of The Thick of It, one way or another.